“You can’t leave!” the first hooded figure, the one in a purple robe, cried. “It is a violation of the Tuvo Principle, the Society’s most cherished precept!”

“Wait a moment,” said the second hoodie, this one in crimson. “I thought free will was the centerpiece of the Tuvo Principle!”

“Free will aside from total subservience to the Society and the Tuvo Principle,” added a third member wearing forest green.

Crimson shook their head, as evidenced by the bobbing of their robe. “How can your will be free if you’re subservient?”

“Yeah,” said Yellow. “That’s dumb.”

“Well, if the Tuvo Principle isn’t what I say it is, then what is it?” Purple shouted.

“It’s absolute free will!” said Crimson.

“It’s absolute subservience!” shouted Green.

“I’ll show you who’s subservient!” Yellow followed these fighting words with an actual physical blow aimed at Purple.

The argument quickly degenerated into a melee after this. Forgotten amidst the Society’s shouting, Chris worked the bindings free and cut Avery loose with the sacrificial dagger.

“What the heck is the Tuvo Principle, anyway?” Said Avery as they fled.

“I don’t even think they know.”

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Sect #1338: The Metamorphosis Society (“Morphies”)
Classification: Class III (transcendent, death-worshipping)
Adherents: 2000-5000
Leader: Decker K. Leyen (“The Conduit,” “Neotone”)

Founded as part of the wave of sects that arose in the first decade after transhumanism became mainstream, the Morphies believe that humans are, in fact, the larval stage of another creature entirely. As such, they hold that death (“the Chrysalis”) is the ultimate achievement, and that all humans should strive for “metamorphosis” along the lines of a butterfly or a frog.

Naturally, if this were their only belief the sect would be little different than the suicide cults which periodically arise and snuff themselves out. However, the “Morphies” hold that only those that have gained enlightenment may “spin the Chrysalis” and that all others who died are simply reincarnated as “larvae” (their term for all non-sect members).

This makes them incredibly dangerous as they view death before enlightenment as undesirable but little more than a setback. As such, they will not hesitate to lay down their lives, or the lives of others, in pursuit of their goals. Perhaps most chillingly, their leader, known as “Neotone” or “The Conduit,” reserves for himself to determine when sect members are ready for “adulthood.”

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“And so we release you, mighty Holaak-Hliqu, that you might rain fire and destruction upon our world!”

“Why is it that these faux-Lovecraftian elder gods always have such loyal cultist minions?” Lia asked. “It doesn’t seem to me that they have a very good benefits package.”

“They get eaten first, and spared the insane ravages of That Which Man Was Not Meant To See,” Jim replied. “Lesser of two evils.”

“But the Elder Gods are always released due to the cultists’ actions,” Lia said. “Why not just leave them sealed in the dark cave of Un’Pro-Noun’Cible? The ersatz Great Old Ones in the movies are never going to return on their own like in the real Lovecraft.”

“Maybe that part got left on the cutting room floor.”

“Or maybe they needed a lot of extras for the rock-jawed hero to blow up real good before the final confrontation. I tell you, it just doesn’t add up.”

Jim shrugged. “Well, the next time we come up against a murderous cult of insanity-worshippers, I’ll point out the contradiction.”